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Arch Coal losses deepen

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By JIM ROSS

For The State Journal

Arch Coal reported a net loss of $96.9 million in the second quarter as increased demand from power plants could not make up for weak metallurgical coal markets.

Arch lost $72.2 million in the second quarter of last year. For the first half of this year, the net loss totaled $221 million, compared with a net loss of $142.3 million in the first half of last year.

“Arch believes the current coal market downturn is unsustainable over the long term,” the company said in its earnings report. “While global metallurgical coal prices are expected to remain soft throughout 2014, global steel production, a driver of metallurgical coal demand, has increased by 2.5 percent year-to-date and appears poised for continued expansion. Announced closures of higher-cost metallurgical coal supply have accelerated as 2014 has progressed, and many capital growth projects have been delayed or cancelled as current prevailing prices do not justify incremental investment. Arch expects all of these factors to bring better balance to global metallurgical markets over time.”

Arch announced it is reducing its sales volume targets for 2014, “reflecting the result of ongoing transportation bottlenecks affecting thermal coal deliveries and the impact of metallurgical production curtailments.”